A senior PLO member said on Tuesday that Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas instructed PA security forces to confront Israeli soldiers and civilians who enter Palestinian-controlled areas.
“President Abbas instructed the security services to confront the occupation forces and settlers,” Azzam al-Ahmad, a leader in the Fatah party and the Palestine Liberation Organization told the Palestinian Satellite Channel.
“If they enter our lands, don’t hesitate to confront them,” al-Ahmad said.
Al-Ahmad’s comments contrast with the agreement to resume security coordination that was supposedly reached between Palestinian and Israeli officials at the recent Aqaba summit.
The Israel Defense Forces increased its presence in the West Bank following recent terror attacks and the Israeli-settler protest-turned-attack in the Palestinian town of Huwara.
Terror attacks in the West Bank and around Jerusalem increased over the last year, despite the IDF’s ongoing Operation Break the Wave which began last March in response to a series of bloody terror attacks by Palestinians. The operation was intended to stop a growing wave of violence and bloodshed, and to prevent another “intifada,” or uprising.
Recently, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called protests by Palestinians an intifada. The Hamas terrorist organization is primarily based in the Gaza Strip.
“Our people and their courageous and bold resistance will not allow anyone to abort their growing intifada,” Haniyeh said.
Last week, a senior Palestinian official told Israel's N12 news there are concerns that Abbas is losing the trust of the Palestinian people and that the PA itself is seen as weak.
The announcement that Abbas has instructed his forces to confront Israelis could be his attempt to regain lost trust, more than establishing a new policy.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.